Generalists crucial to tackling complex diagnoses

EMBRACING generalism is crucial in tackling the complex diagnoses often required in an ageing population and in meeting the community’s priority health care needs into the future, write two experts in this week’s MJA. In one Perspective, Associate Professor Ian Scott, director of Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, wrote that specialists needed to broaden their expertise beyond single organ systems to … Continue reading Generalists crucial to tackling complex diagnoses

Nurses promoting anti-vax message targeted by new code of conduct

ROGUE doctors and nurses who promote anti-vaccination messages are being targeted by their professions, as fresh figures show WA has the lowest rate of vaccinated babies and preschoolers. A new code of conduct for nurses and midwives from this week states they must help to promote disease prevention including vaccination. It comes after an earlier directive by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, after … Continue reading Nurses promoting anti-vax message targeted by new code of conduct

After-hours medical clinic numbers drop after crackdown on false claims

A Perth after-hours medical clinic says the number of patients using its service has reduced by almost a third since a government crackdown but concedes the system was being abused, including by doctors writing opioid scripts. The Federal Government crackdown on false claims for urgent after hours care only began on March 1. But Asim Shehzad, the operations director for the Perth After Hours Medical … Continue reading After-hours medical clinic numbers drop after crackdown on false claims

Time to overhaul GP training

EXPERTS are calling for a rethink of general practice vocational training, questioning the educational value of time spent in a hospital environment that was now “poles apart” from the general practice experience. Writing in the MJA, Associate Professor Susan Wearne, a GP and academic at the Australian National University, and coauthors said that in the years since the beginning of formal general practice training in 1973, … Continue reading Time to overhaul GP training

Study of big pharma’s education events for doctors raises concerns about overtreatment

Big drug companies are spending thousands of dollars educating doctors about expensive medications for depression, osteoporosis and overactive bladder that are not necessarily considered the preferred treatment, a new report has found. In one case, researchers found a company spent more than $11,000 on a private dinner for 18 specialists at a top Sydney restaurant to discuss a new drug. One of the report’s authors, … Continue reading Study of big pharma’s education events for doctors raises concerns about overtreatment

After hours marketing blitz ahead of ban

After-hours home-doctor services are not going down quietly, with some businesses reportedly staging last-ditch marketing blitzes before a ban on direct advertising to consumers takes effect next month. The government this week revealed new rules for medical deputising services (MDS) that provide home visits, including a ban on direct advertising.  Those that do not comply run the risk of losing accreditation and their ability to … Continue reading After hours marketing blitz ahead of ban

Codeine prescriptions: Why you will pay more for pain relief

MILLIONS of Australians who take popular pain medications could be hit with rising costs in the fallout from the new prescription-only rule for codeine products. EXCLUSIVE MILLIONS of Australians may have to pay several dollars more for popular pain medications from today, as fallout from the Government’s new prescription only rule for codeine products begins. Some of the most popular codeine containing over the counter … Continue reading Codeine prescriptions: Why you will pay more for pain relief

Medicines committee to decide fate of Diane contraceptive pill

The body responsible for deciding what drugs we can and can’t use in Australia will decide the fate of a controversial hormonal pill when it meets on Friday. Diane-35 is a form of the contraceptive pill that is used to treat severe acne and hyper-androgenisation – that’s when there are too many male hormones in the female body. The Advisory Committee on Medicines – which informs the Therapeutic Goods … Continue reading Medicines committee to decide fate of Diane contraceptive pill

Codeine is coming off the shelves this week. Here’s what you need to know

As of Thursday, codeine-based pain relief will no longer be available over the counter. To get your hands on painkillers like Panadeine and Nurofen Plus, you will first need to make a trip to your GP to get a script. It’s part of a decision by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to move the drug from Schedule 2 and 3 to Schedule 4 (prescription only), in a … Continue reading Codeine is coming off the shelves this week. Here’s what you need to know

GPs could be banned from prescribing addictive painkillers

General practitioners could be banned from prescribing strong painkillers in an attempt to prevent Australia following the United States into an opioid overdose epidemic. Australia’s drug regulator has warned the nation is “trending down a similar path” to countries enduring pharmaceutical drugs crises. More than half a million Australians are estimated to be dependent on their prescription painkiller. In a consultation paper, the Therapeutic Goods … Continue reading GPs could be banned from prescribing addictive painkillers